The Unsung Suffragist Who Fought for Women to Keep Their Maiden Names

An undated photo of abolitionist and women’s rights activist Lucy Stone. 
Corbis—Getty Images.

During Women’s History Month the work of pioneering women’s rights activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony will surely be debated and discussed in classrooms and newsrooms around the United States. But Stanton and Anthony didn’t work alone. They were part of what has been called the “triumvirate” of 19th century suffragists, though the third woman in that trio was someone who is much less talked-about today than the others.

Her name was Lucy Stone. In fact, Anthony said it was Stone who inspired her to take up the cause of suffrage in the first place. And ironically, Lucy Stone’s influence is seen in the everyday lives of many American women today — though they might not know it.

Stanton once described Stone as “the first woman in the nation to protest against the marriage laws at the altar, and to manifest sufficient self respect to keep her own name, to represent her individual existence through life.” Stone made that decision more than a century ago, when she wed Henry Blackwell in 1855, but her crusade had started years earlier.

Read entire article at Time


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